The chimney is an artefact from Labuan's coal mining era (1847-1912). During that period, Labuan was used as a coaling station for ships sailing in the Far East area. Coal was transported by single rail track to Victoria Port.
Situated on a rise at Tanjung Kubong, this 106 feet high red brick stack, known to locals as The Chimney, is an artefact from Labuan's coal mining era (1847-1912). It is believed to have been built during the time when Labuan was used as a coaling station for ships sailing in the Far East area, and the mined coal was transported by single rail track to Victoria Port. The Chimney was made from more than 23,000 pieces of red bricks that was imported all the way from England. The bricks layering and works are typical of British style.
For a long time, the Chimney was thought to be nothing more than the ventilation shaft typical of a chimney structure. However, recent findings revealed that there were no traces of smokes or burning on the inside of the structure which might suggest its use as a chimney. Careful excavation has revealed at least 12 layers of bricks beneath the surface. The structure sits firmly on a large tract of limestone rock containing rich kaolin or porcelain clay, which provided the strong foundation.
The function of the Chimney remains very much a mystery today. Many have put forward theories with regards to its purpose. Some say it was part of an unfinished mansion, while others say it was a light house beaconing passing ships. In its heyday, a thriving settlement was built at the sea front area below the Chimney. It was then used as a bell tower to announce the arrival of ships to the residents below. but to date, the Chimney stands as an intriguing riddle that continues to fascinate locals and visitors alike.
The Chimney Information Centre beside the Chimney provides detailed information on the history of coal mining in Tanjung Kubong in the 1800s, as well as the construction of the railways and tunnels, and of course, the history of The Chimney.
The Chimney is located on the northern part of Labuan island, accessible via Jalan Lubok Temiang. Entrance fee is free, and it is open from 9AM till 5PM everyday, except on Hari Raya Aidilfitri. For more information, ring them up at +6 (087) - 463 603.